ABOUT

Avid outdoorsman and underwater photographer, Barry Brown has spent the last 12 years documenting life above and below water in Curacao, Netherlands Antilles. He is currently working with the Smithsonian Institution documenting new Caribbean deep-water species and building a one of a kind database. His underwater images can regularly be seen in Sport Diver, Scuba Diver and on the Ikelite website. His image of a "Collage of Corals" seen under blue-light at night recently placed in the TOP 10 images for the 2014 NANPA (North American Nature Photographers Association) photo contest.

General

Archive for the ‘Trips’

May 25, 17     Comments Off on Decodon puellaris, Deep-Sea Hogfish, Colorful Fish

Here’s a WOWZERS fish for you all this morning called a Decodon puellaris or a deep-sea red hogfish and this is the juvenile of that species. When older this crazy colorful little fish will loose a lot of these colors and markings and turn a dark orange or reddish color, still beautiful but nothing like his or her baby colors. For those of you wondering about size, this one here is about three inches in length. These fish are incredible little hunters and love brittle stars, crabs, shrimps and urchins, in fact it’s fish like this that keep most of the invertebrates hidden on the reef most of the day. On many occasions I have seen these fish picking on and trying to eat hermit crabs as well, they are true reef bullies and not as nice as they appear to be. This was another in the long list of cool finds from St. Eustatius a few weeks ago found by the Smithsonian and Substation Curacao.

have a great day!

Barry

Jan 24, 17     Comments Off on Decondon, Deep Sea Fish, Deep Wrasses, Colorful Fish

Good morning, here’s one of the most beautiful fish found last week by the Smithsonian Institution and Substation Curacao, it’s name is Varicus laurae. The fish was named after the wife of the owner of the Curacao Sea Aquarium and owner of the submersible used to collect this beautiful fish. I get asked a lot about size and because there is no way to put a roller next to the fish when photographing it one never really knows the length of the specimen by looking at the photo, this gem is only about an inch. This one was found in Bonaire while the original “new species” was found a fews ago in Curacao and they are found hundreds of feet down in the darkness. Getting these fish to the surface alive is sometimes very difficult because of the depth and water temperatures. Most fish are filled with air when they get to me on the ship so we carefully take a small needle and release the air in their stomachs and most of the time this is all they need. Then they get placed in cold water and rushed into me and dropped into waiting aquariums filled with natural substrate from their home areas, we always try to make the photos look like they were taken at depth.

I hope you all are doing well out there, I know most of you are wrapped in blankets and sweaters this time of year!

Take care, Barry

Jun 30, 16     Comments Off on Curacao Coral Restoration Foundation, CRFCuracao

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Good morning all, we are having a week of hurricane force winds making it tough to do anything outside! Yesterday we were going to take the submersible out for a collecting trip but because of the crazy wind driving big waves to shore we were unable to even get our sub in the water.

So today I have a coral nursery or coral Christmas tree for you that I photographed near the Substation but to the west a little ways. This is a super cool coral restoration project being done by the Curacao Coral Restoration Foundation. What your looking at is baby Staghorn corals that are almost ready to be taken out to the reef and planted if you will in hopes of making new coral colonies. This species of coral is one of the many that are now on the critically endangered list!

Coral Restoration Foundation Curacao successfully set up the first coral nursery on Curacao between May 19th and May 24th. The initial set up consists of 10 “trees” located on the Stella Maris house reef of Ocean Encounters and Lions Dive and Beach Resort.


These trees will provide a safe nurturing environment for fragments of Elkhorn (Acropora palmata) and Staghorn (Acropora cervicornis) until they are ready to restore our reefs.

Collection, installation and training was conducted by experts from the Coral Restoration Foundation International, Ken Nedimyer (Founder and President), Denise Nedimyer, and Mike Echevarria (Chairman CRFI), as well as Coral Restoration Foundation Bonaire’s Augusto Montburn and Francesca Virdis.

Have a wonderful day out there!

Barry

May 26, 16     Comments Off on Giant Hermit Crab, Petrochirus Diogenes, Crabs

Giant Hermit 4

Good morning all, a few days ago I posted a photo of this very same hermit crab but in a different shell, here’s the story of how that happened… Last Friday I found and photographed this new giant hermit crab and he was in an old beat-up shell that barely fit him, (check out the older blog photo). So after getting out of the water I ran into my office and grabbed some other empty shells for him and tossed them in the water next to him but they also turned out to be either to small or the same size as the one he already was in. I did jump in again and I watched as he measured one of the shells out for size but after checking it out decided it was the same as the one he had and left it. So I again got out of the water and ran over to the sea-lion area where I knew they had a collection of old Queen conch shells sitting on top of a wall and asked if I could take one for my crab, they said no problem. I then ran back to where he was and without getting in the water tossed the giant shell in and it landed about three feet away from him, I knew he would find it. As it was the end of the day (Friday) I had to go and figured all would be alright, I pretty much knew he would find the shell and that would be that and I most likely wouldn’t see him again. So come Monday morning I told Barbara my colleague that I was going to jump in on scuba and go see if I could find him and she told me, “this weekend I was here snorkeling and saw a giant octopus on top of one of your shells, I’m not sure he is still alive?” This had me worried and off I went, I didn’t find him but the giant shell I threw in was gone?? This could mean a tourist took it or the crab did find it and was happily on his way, how will I ever know?? Tuesday came along still no sign of him, I was pretty worried as this was the coolest crab I had seen and I thought an octopus had gotten him! So yesterday, Wednesday I jumped in with my camera and did a deep-dive in search of lionfish and again I saw two but they both were super scared and went deep into the reef leaving me without any photos! On my way back I took a different route that would have me exiting the water in an area where the main Sea Aquarium/Lions Dive lagoon is and the only way to get here from our lagoon is over a massive wall of submerged rocks and under a bridge. As I was getting close to my exit in about 15 feet of water I saw the giant Queen conch shell in the distance sitting on top of the sand and as I got closer I saw two large antenna sticking out and knew immediately this was my crab!! I was so happy to see him and quickly picked him up and set him on an old coral head for a quick photo shoot (photo above) and after put him back in the sand where I found him. I then watched as he dug his giant claws deep into the sand in search of food and after a few minutes I said good-bye, I will be going out again in a few minutes and will try to find him for the third time, he’s such a beautiful animal!!

Busy day ahead, have a great day!!

Barry

Mar 3, 16     Comments Off on Trashed Elkhorn Corals, Trash on the Reef

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Good morning friends, your looking at some of the most endangered corals on the planet that are being faced with extinction due to global warming, storms, trash, boat anchors and snorkelers. This very fragile, shallow growing Elkhorn coral is right in the path of just about everything bad and can’t seem to catch a break. Yesterday we swam out to do a photo-shoot with Aimee snorkeling with one of the new Ikelite housings and immediately ran into this poor Elkhorn colony covered in nasty plastic! Because this coral was only in around six feet of water removing the plastic was super difficult due to the passing waves creating a strong surge. I had a knife with me and had Aimee hold my camera while I fought the surge trying to cut it loose, I swear plastic with be the death of this whole planet! Once the plastic was removed you can now see where the coral has died due to choking to death and is now bleach white! This is pretty much a common scene now a days and on most dives, I end up trying to save some part of the reef instead of taking photos, it’s really out of control. A few years ago we had a fairly nice outcrop of Elkhorns here at the Sea Aquarium but now after a few monster storms and serious bouts of temperature change 75% of them are gone, it’s really sad to see and to know that they most likely won’t be back as the weather is only getting worse. Please recycle…….

Lots to do, have a great day.

Barry

Dec 17, 15     Comments Off on Curacao Christmas Cactus, Curacao Festivities

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Good morning friends, the other night Aimee came home from the movies and said “you have to see the new Christmas display at the round-a-bout in Outrabanda” which is across from downtown Punda. She was very excitted and told me it’s the coolest cactus she has seen and that I had to get down there to photograph it. So last weekend I grabbed the tripod and camera and took off to find this new display. I got there way to early, it was still light out and ended up having to wait at least an hour but then finally, on they came!!! Most of the trunk of this cactus is blocked by shrubbery so I had to cross the round-a-bout and shoot it from inside the display looking out towards traffic, it’s a shame that most people will never see the whole cactus. I still have a few more planned Christmas photos so weather permitting I will get those done.

I have to be underwater in a few minutes for a sub dive so I gotta go!!

More Holiday Wishes to everyone!!

Barry

Sep 7, 15     Comments Off on Old Vintage Bottles Found with a Submersible

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Barry Bottles

Good morning all, how was your weekend?? I finally got around to shooting some of the old bottles we found with the submersible on the island of Klein Curacao last week. When the bottles come up from the deep they are filled with trapped hermit crabs that manage to get in but they can’t get back out and we end up with a jar full of old deep water sea shells. Starting from the left we have A typical Dutch Onion Bottle that dates back to the early 18th century. The glass is a shade of green with small bubbles and imperfections. The size and shape of these bottles varies due to the fact that they were mouth-blown in a variety of glass houses in Europe. It has a deep base with a typical jagged pontil scar where the bottom was pushed up with an iron rod to form the base of the bottle. Bottles like this traveled all over the world on the old sailing ships.

Some of the earliest liquor bottles were like the square one pictured to the right in the #3 position (going left to right) which is square in cross section and generally designed to contain gin though undoubtedly contained various types of liquor and possibly wine. Commonly called “case gin” or “taper gin” bottles since they would pack more efficiently to a case (6 to 24 bottles) than round bottles (Illinois Glass Company 1903). Case gin bottles are square with a more or less distinct taper inwards from the shoulder to the base (or a flaring from the base to the shoulder if you prefer). The neck is very short to almost non-existent with the finishes varying from a laid-on ring, flared, mineral finish, oil, and even a blob. This shape and style of bottle originated in and was commonly made in Europe at least as early as the mid-17th century and have been found in contexts as early as 1745 in the New World (Jones & Smith 1985; Hume 1991). However, some case gin type bottles were made in the U.S. during the time span of popularity for this bottle type from at least the early 19th century.

Bottles #2 and #4 were used for spirits as well as ale/porter, wine, and likely other liquid consumables and date from the early 1850’s to the early 1900’s.

The last one on the end, all the way to the right reads; C. BROMLEY, ADAM.STREET, GOOLE. It is also a major antique and dates to the early 1900’s.

Our friend Carole Baldwin from the Smithsonian took the photo of me shooting the bottles without me knowing it, thought I would throw it in to show you the work we go through for a single photo these days. Please don’t ask me to sell the bottles, they are already spoken for and will get great homes.

Have a wonderful day all…

Barry

Jun 10, 15     Comments Off on Ocean Portal, Happy World Ocean Day Letters

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Good morning friends, as many of you already know, Aimee and I have been working hard on a new project for the Smithsonian Institution and finally it is posted and live! You can go to this link……

https://ocean.si.edu/ocean-news/coral-letters-message-corals-curacao

and read more about our fun coral letters and download your own version of one of the four colorful cards above. For the past year I have done countless dives with my macro lens looking at every brain coral I could find in search of all the letters in the alphabet and in the end I not only found one complete set but two! During the massive searching process we also found all the needed numbers (0-9), punctuation marks of all kinds, fun abstract designs, countless hearts, and my favorites… assorted animals and figures. A large portion of the brain corals have been wiped out from the shallows due to global warming and some of the worst coral bleaching in years. We ended up having to dive deeper than expected but with that said we were constantly surprised at what we found. The day we found the incredible “A” was a dive I will never forget, that coral was at 110 feet and the “A” was screaming “take my photo”, it was so easy to see even from a distance. As you can see above from the letters themselves they are found in all different colors, our favorites which are the hardest to find are the lime green and brown like the “Y”, “L” and “D” you see above. These letters will also be for sale down the road to all who would like their name printed in coral, talk about the perfect gift for your ocean loving friends!!

Lots to do.

Barry

Mar 31, 15     Comments Off on Testing Mountain Bikes for Outside Magazine 2015

Good morning friends, yesterday we had 3 customer submersible dives meaning yours truly was underwater and busy from sunup till sundown, no time for the blog.

I have a fun movie for you all today and it has nothing to do with a coral reef or Curacao. During my January vacation this year I met up with our buddy Aaron Gulley and his wife Jen in Tucson Arizona for another year of testing road and mountain bikes for Outside Magazine. I was also joined by Leon, one of our best friends who lives in South Dakota and loves to cycle and we both stayed with my mom. The event itself is called “Bourbon Bike”, it lasts for around a week and is a full out test of just how much riding a person can do in a day and can you keep it up for a week? About 100 of the most expensive road and mountain bikes are sent to Aaron in Tucson where first they all have to be taken out of the boxes and put together, this alone can take days! Then once the bikes are together a very select group of lucky riders meets at a designated location and on the hour, every hour, a different bike is taken out and ridden, sounds like fun right?? There are few riders like Aaron that have the ability to ride a different bike every hour of the day for a week straight, I’m lucky if I do half what he does! The film above shows 2 of the beautiful bikes we grabbed for a fun morning ride at Sweetwater preserve, one of the best single-track mountain bike trails in Tucson, Leon and I had a blast! 

I have another busy day on tap….

See you soon.

Barry

Mar 3, 15     Comments Off on Rough Fileclam, Lima scabra, Mollusks

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Good morning all, I have a beautiful Rough Fileclam, Lima scabra for you all today that I found “open for business” on a recent night dive. These are often called Flame Scallops, they only grow to about three and a half inches and can be found from 3-130 feet. Brilliant red to orange-red mantle with tentacles often reddish orange, especially in shallow water and white in deeper water. Whitish to brownish valves sculptured with many fine, radiating ribs. They inhabit narrow cracks, crevices and recesses. Valves usually hidden with only the mantle and tentacles exposed. Often attach to substrate by byssal threads. If threatened these shells can swim (amazing to see) by clapping it’s shells together “in a jerky movement” and can really dart through the water!

During the consumption process, flame scallops sift and sort through the phytoplankton with their gills to determine what is appropriate for ingestion.

The Bivalvia, in previous centuries referred to as the Lamellibranchiata and Pelecypoda, comprise a class of marine and freshwater molluscs that have laterally compressed bodies enclosed by a shell consisting of two hinged parts. They have no head, and they also lack a radula. Bivalves include clams, oysters, cockles, mussels, scallops, and numerous other families that live in saltwater, and well as a number of families that live in freshwater. The majority are filter feeders. The gills have evolved into ctenidia, specialized organs for feeding and breathing. Most bivalves bury themselves in sediment, where they are relatively safe from predation. Others lie on the sea floor or attach themselves to rocks or other hard surfaces. A few bore into wood, clay or stone and live inside these substances. Some bivalves, such as the scallops, can swim.

The shell of a bivalve is composed of calcium carbonate, and consists of two, usually similar, parts called valves. These are joined together along one edge (the hinge line) by a flexible ligament that, usually in conjunction with interlocking “teeth” on each of the valves, forms the hinge. This arrangement allows the shell to be opened and closed without the two halves becoming disarticulated. The shell is typically bilaterally symmetrical, with the hinge lying in the sagittal plane. Adult shell sizes of bivalves vary from fractions of a millimeter to over a metre in length, but the majority of species do not exceed 10 cm (4 in).

Have a great day…

Barry

 

Mar 2, 15     Comments Off on Flying Gurnards, Dactyylopterus volitans

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Good morning friends, I have some flying gurnards for you all today with the top photo showing a close-up of their cool separate, finger-like pectoral fin that looks like a hand used for digging food and turning over rocks. Aimee and I love finding these guys which are usually always in sandy areas, they are always so busy digging (creating a cloud of silt) and for the most part could care less about divers, you just need to stay at a safe distance. Here in Curacao in Papiamentu they call these fish “Bulado di Benewater”, in Dutch they call it, “Vliegende Poon”, I’m just sticking with Flying Gurnard myself!

The flying gurnards are a family, Dactylopteridae, of marine fish notable for their greatly enlarged pectoral fins. As they cannot literally fly or glide in the air (like flying fish), an alternative name preferred by some authors is helmet gurnards. They are the only family in the suborder Dactylopteroidei.

They have been observed to “walk” along sandy sea floors while looking for crustaceans, other small invertebrates and small fish by using their pelvic fins. Like the true gurnards (sea robins), to which they may be related, they possess a swim bladder with two lobes and a “drumming muscle” that can beat against the swim bladder to produce sounds. They have heavy, protective scales and the undersides of their huge pectoral fins are brightly colored, perhaps to startle predators.

Most species are in the Indo-Pacific genus Dactyloptena, but the single member of Dactylopterus is from warmer parts of the Atlantic. The adults live on the sea bottom, but many species have an extended larval stage, which floats freely in the oceans.

I had a very busy and full weekend. Yesterday I did the Run-Bike-Run event starting at 8:00 with my buddy Arjan, he ran like the wind and I did the 45 minute sprint. we placed 3rd overall, that’s not bad for some old guys!

Busy day on tap, have a great week all!

Barry

Jul 1, 14     Comments Off on Giant Caribbean Reef Squid, YouTube Video

Good morning friends, I finally have a Video for you all today that I shot the other night of a giant Caribbean Reef Squid. This was shot with the NEW Ikelite Vega Video lights and Ikelite/GoPro Tray, what a perfect combination!!!

http://ikelite.com/lighting/2107.2-vega-dual-kit-gopro-flex.html

Here is the Squid Video…………

The Caribbean reef squid (Sepioteuthis sepioidea), also known as just the Reef Squid, is a small (20 cm) torpedo-shaped squid with fins that extend nearly the entire length of the body and undulate rapidly as it swims. The squid has recently become notable when it was discovered that it could fly out of the water; a discovery which finally led to identification of six species of flying squid.

The Caribbean reef squid is found throughout the Caribbean Sea as well as off the coast of Florida, commonly in small schools of 4-30 in the shallows associated with reefs. The habitat of the Reef Squid changes according to the squid’s stage of life and size. New hatchlings tend to reside close to the shore in areas from 0.2“1 meters below the surface on or under vegetation. Young small squid typically congregate in shallow turtle grass near islands and remain several centimeters to two meters from the surface to avoid bird predators. Adults venture out into open water and can be found in depths up to 100 m. When mating, adults are found near coral reefs in depths of 1.5“8 m. The Caribbean reef squid is the only squid species commonly sighted by divers over inshore reefs in the Florida, Bahamas and Caribbean region.

This species, like most squid, is a voracious eater and typically consumes 30-60% of its body weight daily. Prey is caught using the club-like end of the long tentacles which are then pulled towards the mouth supported by the shorter arms. Like other cephalopods, it has a strong beak which it uses to cut the prey into parts so that the raspy tongue, or radula, can be used to further process the food. It consumes small fish, other mollusks, and crustaceans.

Caribbean reef squid have been shown to communicate using a variety of color, shape, and texture changes. Squid are capable of rapid changes in skin color and pattern through nervous control of chromatophores. In addition to camouflage and appearing larger in the face of a threat, squids use color, patterns, and flashing to communicate with one another in various courtship rituals. Caribbean reef squid can send one message via color patterns to a squid on their right, while they send another message to a squid on their left.

Off to the sea, busy day on tap!

Barry

Jun 6, 14     Comments Off on Phutuq K’usi, Phutuqk’usi, Putucusi Trail Peru

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Good morning friends, sorry about the no blog yesterday but we are super busy trying to get our Peru photos out and ready for sale. As I mentioned earlier we shot around 400gb worth of photos meaning we have a lot of work to do! The places we photographed include but are not limited to; Aquas Calientes, Chinchero, Cusco, Las Chullpas, the Putucusi trail (above), Machu-Picchu, Mares, mountain biking, Ollantaytambo, Pisac, Pisac Ruins, Sol Y Luna, stone carving, Ollantaytambo Quarry and Uruabamba to name a few! The photo above is near the base of the World famous Putucusi trail and was our first introduction into a real jungle setting. This trail starts near the the town of Aguas Calientes behind the train station where you buy your bus tickets to Machu Picchu. To say this was the most beautiful trail I had ever been on would be an understatement, it’s breath taking in more ways than one! This is the trail with the insane 100 foot ladder sectons that we climbed and at the top is a spectacular view of Machu-Picchu that few get to see, it’s worth the effort! Aimee and I stopped every feet yards to photograph the ferns, flowers butterfies and birds, it’s a photographers dream trail!

Phutuq K’usi or Phutuqk’usi (Quechua phutu bud, -q a suffix, k’usi a cucurbita species, a small zucchini or cucurbita pepo, “budding zucchini (or cucurbita pepo)”, hispanicized spelling Putucusi) is a round-shaped mountain located on the opposite side (northeast) of the Urubamba River to Machu Pikchu in the Cusco Region of Peru. Reaching approximately 2,560 metres (8,400 ft) above sea level at its peak, the mountain offers epic views of Machu Pikchu and the surrounding Urubamba River valley.

Phutuq K’usi, Machu Pikchu (“old peak” in Quechua) and Wayna Pikchu (“young peak”) are considered apus or holy mountains by the local Quechua people.The view of Machu Pikchu from the summit requires a 1.5-hour trek up the mountain, with approximately 1,700 wood and rock steps. A recently discovered Inca Trail, the path lies just 10 minutes west of Aguas Calientes following the train tracks along the Urubamba River. The entrance is free.

The first half of the journey is jungle trail, and involves several very steep vertical wooden ladders, the largest of which scales over 100 feet (30 m). The second half presents views of Aguas Calientes and the Urubamba River valley, as the trail ascends the eastern face of Phutuq K’usi in switchback fashion. The train passes through native flora including pisonayes, q’eofias, alisos, puya palm trees, ferns and more than 90 species of orchids.

In spring 2011, floods wiped out the vertical ladder section of the climb, making an ascent impossible without professional climbing gear, but by August 2012, all the ladders had been replaced.

Well gang, have a wonderful weekend, we have a three day weekend!

Cheers, Barry

May 19, 14     Comments Off on Endangered Queen Conch, Lobatus gigas

Queen Conch

Good morning friends, how was your weekend?? Mine was pretty mellow, I still find myself dreaming and wishing I was back in Peru as there were still so many things there we didn’t get to see!!

Curacao is now locked in some kind of terrible drought and is the driest we have ever seen it for this time of year! We continue to take water out to the desert everyday and try to feed the poor iguanas but there is only so much one can do. Yesterday we had 5 skinny iguanas sitting in a bush across from our house. I grabbed a few banana’s and tossed them over the wall along with wet-bread and they loved it.

Here is a beautiful, empty or dead Queen conch shell, Lobatus gigas we found in the water most likely eaten by a hungry octopus.

Lobatus gigas, commonly known as the Queen conch, is a species of large edible sea snail, a marine gastropod mollusc in the family of true conches, the Strombidae. This species is one of the largest molluscs native to the tropical northwestern Atlantic, from Bermuda to Brazil, reaching up to 35.2 centimetres (13.9 in) in shell length. L. gigas is closely related to the goliath conch, Lobatus goliath, a species endemic to Brazil, as well as the rooster conch, Lobatus gallus.

The Queen conch is herbivorous and lives in seagrass beds, although its exact habitat varies by development stage. The adult animal has a very large, solid and heavy shell, with knob-like spines on the shoulder, a flared thick, outer lip and a characteristic pink-colored aperture (opening). The flared lip is absent in younger specimens. The external anatomy of the soft parts of a Queen conch are similar to that of other snails in its family; it has a long snout, two eyestalks with well-developed eyes, additional sensory tentacles, a strong foot and a corneous, sickle-shaped operculum.

The shell and soft parts of a living Queen serve as a home to several different kinds of commensal animals, including slipper snails, porcelain crabs and cardinalfish. Its parasites include coccidians. The Queen conch is hunted and eaten by several species of large predatory sea snails, and also by starfish, crustaceans and vertebrates (fish, sea turtles and humans). Its shell is sold as a souvenir and used as a decorative object. Historically, Native Americans and indigenous Caribbean peoples used parts of the shell to create various tools.

International trade in Queen conch is regulated under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) agreement, in which it is listed as Strombus gigas. This species is not endangered in the Caribbean as a whole, but is commercially threatened in numerous areas, largely due to extreme overfishing.

Have a wonderful day all!!

Barry

May 15, 14     Comments Off on Pre Columbian Peruvian Art in Cusco Peru

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Good morning friends, we are back from Peru!! Boy does time fly by, I really can’t believe 3 weeks pasted by that quickly?? I ended up bringing home around 400GB of photos, so much in fact I had to go out and buy yet another 1TB hard-drive! The trip was fantastic from start to finish, we not only found it easy to get around, we found there are so many ways to get around! Much of our thanks goes out to COPA and LAN Airlines, talk about service!! American Airlines could learn a lot from these two carriers! Not only are the planes new and you have so much leg room, you get free hot meals, free drinks (alcohol or soft), blankets, headrests, free headphones, electronic everything and on an on, I could brag about them all day!! We learned early in the game not to waste $$ on taxi’s as there are all kinds of alternatives that will save you tons of cash! We stayed at 6 different hotels during the trip and all were unique and wonderful, I will post these later in a “traveling Peru” paper we putting together for 1st time visitors. Aimee and I walked everyday from sun-up till sun-down some times as long as 9 hours! We visited all the top sites in the Sacred Valley area and visited many spots seldom seen by most tourists taking photos every minute of the day! The Peruvian people are warm and kind and very hard working, they believe in 3 things, do not steal, do not be lazy and work hard! I will continue to post photos on the Peru page on the left of my home page as I get them prepared and feel free to ask questions.

The above photo is one of the many artifacts we photographed at the Pre-Colombian museum in Cusco. This is one of 3 “Human Figurines” from the Chancay Imperial Period 1300-1532 A.D. This is a ceramic representation of a human being of more or less realistic style, very creatively crafted and rendered with a suggestion of primitivism. It is that particular “unfinished” sculptural quality and ability that makes this example so attractive. The ceramist models each piece availing himself of rudimentary decorative elements. One’s attention is mainly drawn by the remarkably shortened and very weak extremities, the lightly sketched facial features and the sometimes unfinished decorative motif. We got really lucky with getting permission to photograph these items and up till now many of these items were not allowed to be photographed.

I have a dive in 30 minutes that I need to get ready for so stay tuned for more.

Have a great day all, Barry

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